Princess Diana captured hearts as she was married to Charles, Prince of Wales at St. Paul’s Cathedral. With 2,500 guests, a crowd of 600,000 outside of the cathedral, and a television audience of 750 million, the wedding was indeed a spectacle.
Love it or hate it, Princess Diana’s wedding dress is one that has made its mark on history. Let’s face it; the dress has its own Wikipedia page. It was large, extravagant, elegant, and detailed. Needless to say, the dress was an event in itself.
Engaged at 19 and married at 20, Princess Diana was clearly very young. And, like any other 20-year-old, still experimenting with her personal style and who she wanted to be. Her gown was far from a classic. However, her 1981 wedding influenced bridal fashions and trends for the next decade.
After the royal wedding, bridal fashions were characterized by cathedral trains, lace-edged frills, full-length veils, over-sized bouquets, and flowing sleeves that gathered at the wrist. We have Princess Diana to thank for that.
She set the standard of gowns and created a new romantic ideal with the flattering cinched waist and over-the-top dramatic train. The dress designed by David Emanuel and his wife Elizabeth was kept a secret until the ceremony; Princess Diana even had a backup in case photos of her dress were leaked!
Her wedding dress was made with ivory silk taffeta and antique lace. It was hand embroidered with sequins and 10,000 (yes, you read that right) pearls. Although, the dress is most known for its jaw-dropping 25-foot-long train and large puffed sleeves. The Princess accented her veil with the “Spencer Tiara.” This Spencer family piece was made with an elaborate design of stylized flowers decorated with diamonds in a silver setting, pairing perfectly with the dress. It was everything that it should have been and more for a princess.
Even though Princess Diana’s marriage to Charles, Prince of Wales formally ended after 15 years, the dress worn in the wedding of the decade will go down in history as one of the most iconic wedding dresses of all time.